Some 45 years ago a movie came out called “Network”. There was a line in this movie that was brought back to my remembrance when I read an on-line article of how crime continues to take place in our country. At the end of the article was written: “Pray for the families and loved ones.” I confess, I got mad; but, not mad at the actual words. I was mad that I found myself wondering how much time the Body of Christ / Yeshua ha’Mashiach actually spends in prayer. So a line from the movie about being mad caused me to do a search on my go-to search engine.
Quick premise of “Network”. It is about a television network cynically exploiting a deranged former anchor’s ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit. (IMDb.com) After reading the fictional newscaster’s monologue, I decided to include it in its entirety. Keep in mind, it was written over 45 years ago. Words in italics are changes I made to be more relevant.
“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It is a recession. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be.
We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is: 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.'
Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get MAD! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the recession and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say: 'I'm a human being! I’m a Man! I’m a Woman! My life has value!'
I want you to get up right now. Go to your windows. Open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as h*** and I'm not gonna take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!...You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as h***, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the recession and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first, get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell: 'I'm as mad as h***, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!'”
How mad is the Body of Christ about the myriad of injustices in our land? How many of us have approached the Throne Room of Mercy and Grace and cried out: “Lord, I can’t fix this; but, I can pray!” Many of us have heard or said: “When all else fails, pray!” Nooooo! We should not be found exhausting man’s ways before we turn to prayer. I am NOT recommending that we stick our heads out of our windows and yell. I AM recommending that we each (including me) take an honest look at the time and quality of our prayers. For some of us we will continue as usual. For some of us we may realize that there is room for improvement. I am not calling into question our love for our Heavenly Father. However, does the time we spend with Him in prayer reflect that love?
There is so much we need to pray about – how do I know where to start? Here are three suggestions, but trust me when I say – the Lord will also give you other ideas.
(1) In two weeks, we will have the opportunity to vote. We have no control over who gets voted into office in other states – but we certainly do here. Are we praying about this? Confession – I find myself lacking here.
(2) Over the next two weeks we have the opportunity to pray for our schools. Please see the links below. How are we doing in this area? I live less than 1.5 miles (walking distance) from 5 schools – 4 of which I pass on a regular basis. Confession – I am lacking here, also.
(3) For the next 7 weeks, 4Tucson will be continuing its fundraising campaign. As with any ministry, monies are needed to continue the impact, influence and good works THIS ministry and its tireless workers are doing. Let us NOT be lacking in prayer for a successful campaign.
This is not a veiled attempt to heap shame & condemnation on myself nor on the Body of Christ. But, if we take an honest look at our prayer life, what do we see? As I was pondering on how to write this, I was reminded of Daniel who faithfully ….got down on his knees three times a day and prayed, giving thanks to his God….. (Dan 6:10b) And Daniel was a man of many responsibilities (he was really busy). In my prayers Saturday night, I made a commitment to my Lord to begin Daniel’s practice of prayer. If this is something that resonates within you, let’s do it together through the end of August. Who know, perhaps this prayer exercise will become a regular part of who we are and our daily lives!!! Perhaps we can guide and encourage others to do the same. Perhaps we will see changes.